Abbotsford artist’s ‘orca and thunderbird’ sculpture earns award

Tony Mayo’s piece named Best of Show at international wildlife exhibit

Abbotsford artist Tony Mayo was recently honoured with the Best of Show sculpture award at the annual Artists for Conservation International Wildlife Art Exhibit.

Mayo received the award for his piece Battle of the Orca and Thunderbird.

The exhibition – held Aug. 22 to 25 at the Vancouver Convention Centre – is considered one of the world’s premier fauna art exhibitions and many consider it the foremost wildlife art show.

Mayo’s sculpture is based on a legend that the Cowichan people of the West Coast have about a battle between a killer whale and the thunderbird.

In the legend, there was a time during one spawning season when no salmon came up the Cowichan River.

RELATED: Tony Mayo’s work one of two new exhibits at The Reach

RELATED: New excerpt from book released by Abbotsford author

Salmon were an important food source that sustained the Cowichan people through the winter, so they scouted the river and discovered that a supernatural orca had claimed the mouth of the river and was mercilessly eating the salmon.

Cowichan warriors paddled their mighty war canoes out to the orca, but trying with all their strength, they could not drive him away.

The medicine people of every Cowichan village were joined by all the people as they sang their most powerful songs, calling upon the supernatural thunderbird for help.

The thunderbird appeared and soon locked in a fierce battle with the orca. Thunderbird was victorious and the salmon run was liberated.

In Mayo’s sculpture, the orca and thunderbird are interlocked in battle, with thunderbird latched tightly around the belly of the orca.

The piece is sculpted from pyrophyllite from South Africa.


Just Posted

Come visit the cute little critters at Elizabeth’s Wildlife Center

Abbotsford centre holds annual open house on Aug. 24 and 25

Abbotsford Police ‘speed watchers’ are tops in province

Volunteers record highest increase in patrol hours in ICBC challenge

UPDATE: Abbotsford woman reported missing from Chilliwack has been found

Alexis Neill, 26, located safe and sound, police say

Event supports women’s centre that is at risk of having to move

Abbotsford women’s recovery program holds annual Victory Walk

Son of slain former Hells Angel is one of two men sentenced for crime spree

Pair’s 2017 series of robberies included convenience store in Abbotsford

VIDEO: Facebook rolls out tool to block off-Facebook data gathering

CEO Mark Zuckerberg announced the “clear history” feature more than a year ago

Teacher disciplined after bringing 45 grams of cannabis to Surrey school

Eugenio Bahamonde was also charged with trafficking in Vancouver, but later acquitted

B.C. rainbow crosswalk covered in mysterious black substance

Black substance spilled intentionally near Vancouver Island school and difficult to remove

RCMP originally planned to arrest Meng Wanzhou on plane, defence lawyers say

The allegations have not been proven in court. Meng was arrested Dec. 1 at Vancouver airport at the behest of the U.S.

Bodies of two missing Surrey men found near Ashcroft

Ryan Provencher and Richard Scurr have been missing since July 17

Ethics commissioner ready to testify on Trudeau, SNC-Lavalin: NDP critic

A new poll suggests the report hasn’t so far hurt the Liberals’ chances of re-election this fall

Inflation hits Bank of Canada 2% target for second straight month

Prices showed strength in other areas, including an 18.9 per cent increase in the cost of fresh vegetables

VIDEO: Organization’s stolen wheelchair van recovered on backroad near Hope

Wheelchair accessible van is only transportation for some people in Hope area

Most Read